Speed Reads

2018 watch

Florida Gov. Rick Scott to take on Sen. Bill Nelson in 'epic' Senate race

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) confirmed to Politico on Monday that he is going to challenge incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) for his Senate seat this November. "If it's good for us, I’m going to support what the White House wants to do," promised Scott, who is a close ally of President Trump and was encouraged to run by the president last year. "If it's not good for Florida, I'm going to oppose. I'm not going to be a rubber stamp for anybody."

The race against Nelson — one of the most vulnerable sitting Democrats — is widely expected to be expensive and tight, with Politico predicting "an epic battle." Democrats have already announced intentions of a "six figure" digital ad buy, and they also intend to link Scott to the 14 deaths at a senior home in Broward County after last year's Hurricane Irma, as well as a recent bridge collapse that killed six in Miami-Dade County.

The gun control debate could also be central to the race; Scott signed restrictions last month in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that Democrats say were too lax and some Republicans call a "self-inflicted ding" with NRA supporters, NBC News reports.

While Democrats are hoping to flip the House, and have a fighting chance, flipping the Senate is a more difficult task. There are 10 Democrats, including Nelson, who are defending seats this November in states Trump won in the 2016 election.